MISLEADING MEMORIES
By T'Pam
 

Disclaimer: Tom Paris, Captain Janeway and all the Voyager crew belong to Paramount. No profit will be made from this story as itís just for fun.

This story was inspired by the Jupiter Stationís Narrative Challenge #38: [from Kendra Crispin] Write a story in which Paris or Janeway has an accident - probably involving a shuttlecraft - and loses part of his/her memory. The memories that remain convince him/her that he/she is married to the other.

Well, this isnít exactly what she asked for, but the story seemed to have a mind of its own.

Rated PG.
 

Misleading Memories
Part One

The voices slowly penetrated her subconscious. She struggled to awareness. Voices - voices all around her. Where was she? What was happening? Who did the voices belong to? Confused and dazed she slowly opened her eyes. She was lying on a bed of some sort and a bald-headed man was leaning over her, waving an instrument around her head. To her side she could see two other men, leaning towards her.

One of the men was dark skinned with strange pointy ears and a solemn expression on his face. The other man, who was smiling at her, had a tattoo painted on his forehead. Behind the bald-headed man she could see a blond haired woman, also with an instrument in her hand bending over somebody else lying on the bed next to her.

"Doctor, all the narcotics seem to be out of his system," the woman announced.

The bald-headed man turned around. "Good work Ensign." He turned back towards her again. "Glad to see youíre awake Captain. How do you feel?"

Captain? Was she a Captain? The confusion must have shown on her face as the bald-headed man - the doctor - frowned down at her. "Captain?"

She looked back to the two other men who were still leaning towards her. "You gave us quite a scare," the man with the tattoo said softly, his dimples showing as he smiled down at her.

She shifted restlessly, and attempted to sit up. Everything spun dizzily around her and she gasped, clutching her head.

"Slowly Captain," the doctor admonished. "The dizziness should start to abate."

She nodded carefully and managed to sit up properly. As soon as the spinning stopped she looked around the room. "Where am I?" she croaked out.

"Itís all right. Youíre safe now," the tattooed man said soothingly. "Safe, back on Voyager."

Voyager? She shook her head, trying to clear it. "I donít understand. I canít remember----" her voice trailed off. Something was niggling at the back of her mind. Something she should know. Something she should be worried about. Everyone was looking at her with concern. "Iím sorry," she apologized.

The doctor waved his instrument over her again. "It seems the narcotics that were pumped into you have left you disorientated. The effects are temporary. Your memories will return shortly."

"Thatís good to know."

"Captain, what is the last thing you do remember?" the dark skinned man asked her.

She frowned, trying to think. "Iím not sure." She rubbed her temples as she concentrated. "A room - a dark room. I remember - I remember feeling anxious. I was worried about something. I donít know what. I canít remember." She looked up at the men surrounding her. "This is so frustrating," she ground out.

"Take a few deep breaths and relax," the doctor instructed her. "Donít try so hard. Itíll all come back to you."

The Captain did as she was told and lay back down again, as the doctor turned around to the other bed. "How is he, Ms. Wildman?"

"Much better Doctor. His pulse and blood pressure are back to normal."

"Hmmn! He seems to be sleeping quite naturally."

"Should I try to wake him?"

"No, let him wake up naturally. Heíll probably be just as disorientated as the Captain."

"Very well Doctor." As the woman walked away from the bed, the Captain got a good look at the man they were discussing. Tom! She sat up quickly, all of her memories returning in full.

"Captain?" Chakotay held her as she attempted to jump off the biobed.

"Tom! Is he all right?"

"Heís fine Captain," the Doctor answered. "He actually had less narcotics in his system than you did."

"What about his injuries?"

"All healed. They were minor breaks and fractures. No permanent damage." The Doctor watched her closely. "I assume that your memories have now returned?"

Janeway nodded, sighing with relief. "Tom was so worried about his hands. He thought heíd never fly again. How long were we down there?"

"Five full days Captain," Tuvok informed her.

She looked at him in amazement. "Are you sure?" She shuddered involuntarily. "It felt like five weeks."

"I can assure you, Captain. It was only five days."

"Five very long days," Chakotay asserted. "Can you tell us what happened?"

"We crashed. The shuttle was completely destroyed. I donít know how we got out alive." She closed her eyes as she remembered. "Tom must have dragged me from the wreckage. The first thing I remember is waking up outside the shuttle, as it burst into flame. Tom was trying to protect me from the burning rubble. He had a broken arm and a sprained wrist, but other than a very bad headache, I was fine. I canít remember why we crashed, or anything about it."

"The Mostreterians shot you down," Chakotay told her. "You must have managed to get off a distress beacon before you crashed. As soon as we received it, we started searching, but all signs of you had disappeared."

Janeway nodded. "They must have monitored our negotiations with the Pedorlians. They knew exactly where we would be. Not long after the shuttle exploded, they found us and put us in one of their prison camps."

Voyager had accidentally stumbled into a civil war, and although they had done their best to keep out of it, the Mostreterians were determined to bring them in. The Pedorlians accepted that all Janeway and her crew wanted to do was get out of this particular sector of space as quickly as possible and had been willing to give them a map of the safest route out of there.

However, if the Mostreterians had discovered their intended course, they would have attempted an ambush, so Janeway had arranged to meet one of the Pedorlian representatives in secret, so that he could hand over the map. Obviously the Mostreterians had found out about the meeting.

"The Pedorlians helped us find you. Do you know why the Mostreterians captured you?" Chakotay asked. "It wasnít for ransom. They wouldnít even acknowledge that they had you."

"Information," Janeway answered dryly. "They had every intention of capturing Voyager, if I would just give them my access codes."

"I assume that they used any means necessary to get you to divulge this information?"

"Thatís right Tuvok. They pumped us both full of so many drugs, we were hallucinating most of the time. They obviously didnít have any sodium-pentathol or the like, because we didnít tell them anything."

"Hummph!" the Doctor sniffed. "Most of the drugs they used are unknown. I have no idea what they were for even. The Pedorlians werenít very helpful either." He seemed to think this was a personal insult.

"Well, obviously they didnít work as truth serums on the Captain or Tom," Chakotay smiled. "I think weíd know about it by now, if they had our access codes."

"To be on the safe side, however Commander, I believe that it would be in the ships best interests to change the access codes," Tuvok suggested.

Chakotay nodded. "Good idea."

Janeway frowned. "When all the drugs didnít work the Mostreterians used other methods of persuasion. When they saw I couldnít be intimidated, they started using Tom to make me talk. They broke his fingers - one by one - and then his toes." Tears ran down her face as she continued. "They broke his already fractured arm - over and over again." She gulped and the Doctor handed her a tissue. "Poor Tom. He wouldnít let me tell them anything though."

The Doctor handed her another tissue. "I would like you to stay in sickbay for the next few hours Captain. Just to ensure that the narcotics have not left any side effects."

"Of course. Tom is all right isnít he?"

The Doctor nodded. "Healing all of those broken bones just took a little more out of him, thatís all. Itís best if he sleeps. You should try to do the same."

"If you say so. Do you think heíll need counseling?" she asked, a small catch in her voice.

"Weíll see when he wakes up. Knowing Mr. Paris, heíll probably shrug it all off."

Janeway gave a little laugh, which turned into a sob. "Itís all my fault. They saw him as my Achilles heel." Her sobs increased.

The Doctor turned to Chakotay and Tuvok. "Gentlemen, it would be best if you left now. The Captain needs her rest."

They both nodded and quietly left sickbay as Janeway reached out and held Tomís hand in her own.


As Chakotay walked along the corridor with Tuvok at his side, he couldnít help pondering on what he had just witnessed in sickbay. Whatever the Mostreterians had put Paris and the Captain through must have been pretty bad. He had never seen her so emotional. Heíd seen her upset before, of course. But to openly cry in front of them all. He shook his head. It sounded as if Tom had been tortured, while she had been forced to watch.

As they waited for the turbolift, Tuvok glanced at him. "Commander, perhaps you can enlighten me?"

"Hmmn?" Chakotay answered absentmindedly.

"What did the Captain mean by saying that the Mostreterians saw Mr. Paris as her Achilles heel?"

Chakotay looked at him in surprise. "Youíve never heard that saying before?"

Tuvok nodded. "I know that it means a certain weakness in oneís character. I just do not understand how it could be applied under these circumstances."

As they stepped into the lift and proceeded to the bridge, Chakotay explained. "The Mostreterians must have seen that the Captain became agitated and upset that Tom was hurt, so decided to use that to their advantage. They thought that the Captain would tell them whatever they wanted to know, as long as they stopped hurting Tom."

Tuvok looked at Chakotay steadily. "I understood why the Mostreterians did what they did, Commander. Iím afraid you do not understand my question. The Captain described Mr. Paris as her Achilles heel, as if this was indeed true. The Captain is a very caring person. However, I do not believe that normally she would let an enemy see this apparent weakness. Where Mr. Paris is concerned, it would appear she could not help herself."

"I see what you mean. Tom and her have always had a special relationship, though. He was her personal reclamation project." He frowned as he remembered the day he had accused her of this and the fact that she hadnít denied it.

"She lets him take a lot more liberties on the bridge than anybody else," Tuvok continued. "They are far closer than is usual between a captain and the ensign at conn."

Chakotay shrugged. "They have similar backgrounds. And the Captain was particularly close to Tomís father. Why are you bringing this to my attention? Do you see a problem?"

"The Captain did not seem her usual self in sickbay. This could of course be a residual effect to the narcotics in her system, but I believe that the Captain has always had feelings for Mr. Paris."

Chakotayís frown deepened and then he sighed. "Youíre probably right. She has maternal feelings for Harry as well, you know. I donít believe that itís a weakness. It does make her a little foolhardy when theyíre in trouble though."

"I do not believe that the Captains feelings for Mr. Paris are maternal."

"Halt turbolift," Chakotay instructed the computer. "What are you saying?"

"I believe that the Captain has denied her feelings for quite some time. However, it seemed in sickbay that she no longer cared who knew."

"Well thatís her business. As long as it doesnít affect the ship."

"That is my point Commander. I do not know how the crew will react to this new set of circumstances."

"I know Tom had a bit of trouble settling in, in the early days, but heís pretty popular now. I donít think anyone would give him a hard time. I would be upset for BíElanna though. I didnít really want them to get together in the first place. I didnít want to see her hurt."

"I too am concerned about Ms. Torres. She can be very - " he searched for the right word - "volatile. She feels very deeply for Mr. Paris and I know that he also feels this way toward her."

"You do?"

Tuvok nodded. "I do not know how he feels about the Captain, however. I always believed that he felt great admiration and respect, but nothing of the romantic kind."

"So you think this is all one-sided?"

"I did not say that Commander. I do not know. It would appear that the situation has changed since the Mostreterians held them captive."

"This could be a problem."

"Indeed!"

"Computer, resume turbolift. Tuvok, I think it might be a good idea if we keep an eye on the situation."


Tom groaned as he slowly began to awaken. A hand was smoothing his brow and he smiled contentedly. The pain was gone. That was good. "Itís all right darling," a voice whispered in his ear. "Youíre safe now." He felt lips brush against his ear. "I love you."

"I love you too," he murmured back opening his eyes and looking into concerned blue/gray ones.

"Hey there. I thought youíd never wake up."

Tom smiled and reached out to touch her hair. His hand froze in midair. Blue/gray eyes? They should have been brown - a deep soulful brown. And the hair was the wrong color too. He struggled to sit up. The Captain? He looked around in confusion. What was going on here?

Janeway put her arm around his shoulders. "Itís all right sweetheart. I was a little disorientated when I first woke up too. Itíll pass. Iím so glad youíre all right. The Doctorís fixed you up as good as new."

"The Doctor?" Tom searched around the room. "Where is he? Doc?"

"I asked him to give us a few minutes alone."

"Alone?" Tom repeated, still trying to figure out what was going on.

Janeway laughed as she took her arm away and patted his hand instead. "You are disorientated. Whatís the last thing you remember?"

Tom screwed up his face as he concentrated. "We were in a dark room. Theyíd just broken my arm, for about the fifth time. I must have lost consciousness. I vaguely remember some sort of phaser fight and Tuvok leaning over me and then the Doc and Sam were treating me."

"Good. Your memory is better than mine was, thatís for sure."

"My fingers," Tom suddenly gasped. Heíd been sure that after so many weeks, without being able to reset them, the fingers would knit crookedly and leave his hands permanently malformed. He smiled in delight and waved them in front of his face.

"We were only down there for five days Tom, not the weeks that it felt like."

Tom looked at her incredulously. "I canít believe it."

Janeway laughed again. "Believe it!" She leaned towards him and kissed him lightly on the lips.

Tom drew back in shock. What the hell?

"Hmmn," the Captain said playfully. "Are you up to a little more?" Before Tom could say anything, she threw her arms around his neck and began to kiss him passionately.

Tomís brain shut down for a few seconds before he struggled to get free. Jumping off the biobed with a yelp, he stared at her breathlessly.

"Tom, whatís wrong?" she asked in concern, starting to walk around the biobed towards him.

He took a step back and flinched as he hit the wall behind. The Captain walked slowly towards him.

"Darling, what is it?"

"Donít come any closer." Tom held his arm out to stop her.

"Sweetheart, I donít understand." Janeway stood there looking puzzled. "I think I should get the Doctor." Just as she said this, the Doctor and Tuvok - who had been watching the entire proceedings from the Doctorís office - raced over.

"Doc," Tom called out in panic.

"What seems to be the problem, Mr. Paris?"

"She just stuck her tongue down my throat and youíre asking me what the problem is?" Tomís voice rose indignantly.

"You did not wish the Captain to do this?" Tuvok asked formally.

"What? Of course not," he stared at Tuvok as if heíd lost his mind.

"Tom!" Janeway sounded crushed.

"Iím sorry," he apologized. "Itís not that it wasnít very nice. Itís just that - what the hell is going on around here?"

She turned back to the Doctor. "Obviously some of the narcotics are still in his system. Heís forgotten all about us. How long until his memory returns?"

"Captain, perhaps the situation you were in with the Mostreterians is not the best circumstances to base a relationship on," Tuvok felt it was his duty to point out.

"What are you talking about?" both Janeway and Tom asked at the same time. Janeway continued. "Why are you here anyway?"

"Both the Commander and I felt that this situation needed monitoring."

"What situation?"

"The situation between Ensign Paris and yourself."

"Go away Tuvok," the Captain growled. "I know that neither of you were particularly happy about Tom and me, but mind your own business. Itís been two years for gods sake."

"Two years?" Tom echoed breathlessly. "Iíve lost two years of my memories?"

"You donít remember any of our time together?" When Tom shook his head, his eyes wide, Janeway continued. "Your memories will come back soon. Mine did." She went to give him a hug, but at the stiffening of his body, her arms dropped to her sides.

The Doctor stepped forward and took her by the arm. "Captain, Iím sorry to report that it is not Mr. Paris whose memories are default. It seems to be yours. Unless youíve both been keeping a very deep secret?"

"Secret? No. We did at first, of course. Until we knew our feelings were serious. Then we brought it all out in the open."

"Iím sorry Captain, but none of this happened." The Doctor led her back to her biobed and helped her to climb back up.

"Tom," she looked beseechingly over at him. "You have to remember." Tom just looked back at her open mouthed. "Our wedding. You have to remember that. It was almost two years ago."

"Wedding?" Tom felt himself blanche.

"Captain," the Doctor said patiently. "Youíre not listening. Your memories have been tampered with somehow. None of this happened."

"Of course it did." Janeway turned on him furiously. "As soon as the Mostreterians found out that Tom was my husband, they started to hurt him to make me tell them the access codes." She turned back to Tom. "Surely you remember that?"

Tom nodded. "I remember the pain they put me through, to make you talk. But weíre not married Captain. Iím sorry. Theyíve planted false memories in you." He spoke softly to her, feeling terrible.

She simply stared back at him. "Oh my god!"

End Part One